Is Photography Worth Blowing Budget?

posted 7 months ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 16
Member
65 posts
Worker bee

pearfectprincess :  Sure! I’ll be brief because I don’t want to derail the thread. 

Ill be honest and say I don’t think we’re doing anything *spectacular* with our budget. Everything is the same as a normal wedding, just on a larger scale and more high end? We’re getting married at a top hotel downtown (think… St. Regis or Peninsula) that has a high food and beverage minimum for our 250 guests. Six passed canapés, three course plated meal (probably tableside ordering, but we haven’t confirmed) and two late night snacks. Full, top shelf open bar. We’re having a photographer but probably not a videographer, as that’s probably outside of our budget. Our full service planner was almost $15,000. No wedding website and high end invitations designed by an artist with handmade paper, wax seals, calligraphy for addresses. Paying for hair and makeup for the bridal party and mom’s. 12 piece band and a DJ for the reception. Strings for ceremony and cocktail hour and during dinner. Budgeting $12,000 for flowers and decor and lighting. I’m not a huge flower person so I don’t know what that even looks like, but it’s important to our parents. Highest priced items were the food and beverage minimum, band, and planner so far. 

Post # 17
Member
65 posts
Worker bee

Hm. I typed a comment and it disappeared. Testing to see if this one makes it show up. 

Post # 17
Member
208 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2019 - Mountains

How big is your wedding? 10 hours and 2 photographers is a lot. Are you having 200 people and a huge wedding party?

I was a bridesmaid in a family wedding years ago and the photographer took so many photos for about 150 people and a wedding party of 8 people. I was shocked at how many photos were taken but the bride wanted EVERYONE in every iteration possible! When I saw the photos I was surprised at how few good ones there were IMO. What I’m saying is that you need to figure out the shots you want and a good photographer will tell you how long that should take- you also need to know how many BMs/GMs etc there are.

My photographer went through all of this with me before I signed a contract with her and we only need 5-6 hours with 1 photographer. We also have fewer than 50 people and no BM/GM. I want some photos of me getting ready but I don’t need to be shot for 2 hours. So she will go back and forth between me, and the groom getting ready separately to make the most of time. once dessert is served she’s leaving. Do you want your photographer to stay? Having them stay for the whole reception will cost more.

I think you need to better understand what photos you want and seek out a photographer who will give that to you. My package is $3,000 for up to 6 hours and that includes credits towards prints, etc.

Post # 18
Member
2141 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

npcps :  holy moley! Dream budget right there!! Can’t wait to learn more about your wedding planning journey!

Post # 19
Member
65 posts
Worker bee

pearfectprincess :  Take two! Will try to keep this short because I don’t want to derail the thread. 

We’re not doing anything *spectacular* with our budget. It’s a normal wedding with higher end vendors and on a larger scale. We’re getting married in a downtown hotel (think St. Regis or Peninsula) with a high food and beverage minimum for our 250 guests. We’ll have six passed canapés, three course plated meal (possibly tableside ordering) and two late night snacks. We will create the menu with the catering chef, there’s no list to choose from when it comes to the meal options. Our planner was almost $15k to handle the vendors and coordination and actual planning of the wedding. She presents the vendors for each aspect and we just choose, so there’s not a lot of time we have to put into the planning. She put together a 20 page PDF style guide so that our vendors know our inspiration and everything flows together. We’re having a 12 piece band and a DJ, along with string accompaniment for the ceremony and cocktail hour. We have a large flower/lighting/decor budget that includes $3k in chair upgrades? Obviously our photographer, but our planner estimated $5000 for a videographer so we’re skipping that. High end stationery designed by an artist on handmade cotton with all the bells and whistles. Basically everything everyone else is doing for their wedding. 

I hope this response doesn’t show up twice.  

Post # 21
Member
203 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

Wedding photography is definitely one of the pricier parts of the day.  Like many PP mentioned, I would consider ix-naying the wedding album, that’ll save you about a grand.  Also, do you need 10 hours of footage?  If you dropped that to 8 hours, or perhaps had 2 shooters for 8 hours, and then just 1 for the remaining 2 hours, that would also save you some money.  

Post # 22
Member
113 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

Photography was the most important thing for me as well, and one of the first things I booked. I totally recommend you go with the photographer whose work/style you like best and will be most happy with and get a smaller package with them. Ask them if closer to your wedding date you find you have room in your budget could you add on to your contract? Like if you book them for 8 hours now, can you add on time to go up to 9 or 10 hours later on? 

As others have suggested, cut the album for sure – you can have your photographer make you an album for one of your anniversaries down the road, or just design your own for less cost. 

Post # 23
Member
285 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

I literally just pulled my wedding album out to look through it earlier today. I would say to get someone you’re happy with it’s worth the splurge. I love looking at my photos. 

Post # 24
Member
179 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I’m photo obsessed (studied photography in college) and it was my #1 most important thing, and the first thing I booked. I’m not from Chicago, but I spent $6K on mine. It was worth every penny. I look at the photos all the time. An album was included in our package and I’m so glad we got it. The quality is spectacular and I love looking through it. Photography package is worth the splurge! Just my opinion! 

Post # 25
Member
217 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

I blew my budget for photography and videography because I figure they are the only things out of everything that you’re spending all this money on for one day, that last beyond that one day! Why bother spending a crazy amount of money on one day if you don’t have amazing photos and videos to capture all the little details you spent all this time and money on 😊

Post # 26
Member
94 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: Chesapeake, VA

I believe a budget is important. 🙂

Post # 27
Member
2457 posts
Buzzing bee

Loot Jolie photos. That’s who we went with and loved them! I think we paid 5k though? I don’t remember exactly. 

 

I say if you are finding the prices to be about the same in most companies that you look at then you’ll just have to bite the bullet and pay the extra 2k to get what you want. 

Post # 28
Member
63 posts
Worker bee

ahartig :  We booked Jolie as well!  We went with a package that was $1000 with no engagement shoot or albums. Just 10 hours, one photog and digital access to all our photos to print as we please. We aren’t big picture people though and I didn’t want to spend more than that on photography. We are paying for everything ourselves and I would much prefer to spend money on other things. We also don’t have any bridesmaids or groomsmen so that will cut out a lot right there! 

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